LifeLineScreening - March 8, 2012
There are 53,000 deaths in the UK each year due to stroke* and many more who are affected and have to live with a significantly reduced quality of life.
A key cause of a stroke is atrial fibrillation (AF) a condition that is associated with a fast and irregular heart beat. Many will develop AF during the course of their life and those over 65 years are more prone**. In a bid to tackle the significant number of people affected by a stroke, doctors and experts alike are calling for an urgent screening programme to be put in place. Those with atrial fibrillation do not always display obvious symptoms and therefore goes untreated despite the fact that it can often be tackled effectively with blood thinning medication***.
Multiple screenings are fundamental to the proposed strategy, though even simple screenings such as routinely checking heart beat patterns and heading to the Doctors if an irregular heart beat is suspected, could saves many lives. It is important for each of us to be aware and recognise the warning signs of stroke in order to take action accordingly. F.A.S.T. is an easy-to-remember acronym from the NHS on what to look out for and what to do if you suspect that someone is having a stroke.
Face. Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
Arms. Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
Speech. Is their speech slurred?
Time. Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs
Strokes affect people from all walks of life, both men and women from varied cultures and now increasingly, a younger population of people need to consider their lifestyle.
Recently former England footballer Jimmy Greaves suffered a mini-stroke and we’re really pleased to hear that Jimmy is making a swift recovery, commenting that he was “fit as a butcher’s dog”, just weeks after the stroke and resulting operation****.
To read personal stories about some of those that Life Line Screening has helped in the past, please visit our testimonials page. Or, find out more about healthy living by visiting the Life Line Screening UK blog and meeting our team.
*The Stroke Association: Facts and figures about stroke http://www.stroke.org.uk/media_centre/facts_and_figures/index.html
**Herald Scotland: Simple screening that could save many lives
***Mail Online: Doctors call for urgent stroke screening programme in bid to prevent 2,000 deaths a year
****The Daily Mail: Jimmy Greaves in health scare after suffering a stroke and undergoing neck operation